These Leafs Have Crunchulence
It never, ever, EVER gets old beating the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It hasn’t gotten old in 9 years; the span the Leafs have gone without a victory against Vancouver. Over that time, we can count 9 games in which the Canucks have come out on top to zero for Toronto.
In fact, there is no other team I enjoy watching the Canucks beat more. It’s like in high school when you get the hot girl instead of the class jerkoff.
Of course said jerkoff is always the center of attention and gets whatever he wants; such as…oh let’s say, an EARLY START TIME.
The whole thing where Toronto gets to have an away game in Vancouver start at 4pm Pacific to accommodate their holier than thou fans has always bugged me.
Alas, I have seen the light.
Early start + Leafs bad karma for being so self-righteous = Canucks victory
Having said all that, here are some story-lines (as opposed to pick-up lines) heading into Saturday night’s Hockey Night in Canada matchup.
Mister Chris Tanev
While Keith Ballard is out with a concussion for the foreseeable future, Chris Tanev will get the opportunity to shine his guiding light. I say guiding because I believe he is going to be THE key cog in keeping the Canucks D afloat headed into the playoffs.
This isn’t Ballard’s first concussion so it’s more than likely he will be out at least until the playoffs begin. From what I have seen, Chris Tanev is much more responsible than Andrew Alberts and Aaron Rome and he has a particular composure about him.
Chris Tanev relieves the pressure to pick up a D-man at the deadline and provides an accountable option on the back end. During last year’s Stanley Cup run, Tanev played eight games and he was great. It’s just unfortunate that he did so while skating alongside Keith Ballard.
In a snapshot, Chris Tanev has zero goals but FOURTEEN assists in 34 games this season with the Wolves. He is also tied for 4th best on the team with a +12 rating. Additionally, he only has SIX penalty minutes; much more reliable than one Andrew Alberts and another one Aaron Rome.
If AV trusts in Tanev enough to play in key moments, he should find himself on the ice at times that top 10 scorers Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul are also out there.
Whatever Happened to Predictability?
It’s impossible to tell which Leafs team Vancouver will see Saturday. At times, they have looked 1967-esque and at other times have look like the Leafs circa 2010.
In their last ten games, Toronto is 5-4-1 and struggling to hang on to that 8th seed. They will obviously be desperate and we can only assume they will get up, as they say, for a game against Vancouver.
Whose stars will rise to the occasion?
Will it be Kessel and Lupul? They sit 5th and 6th with 62 and 61 points respectively in league scoring.
It’s nice to think that the Canucks are guaranteed a 10th straight win over T-Dot, but this is a different Leafs team than we are used to and it depends whose stars will actually play like stars.
Who’s Bringin’ Waffles?
Someone who is attending Saturday night’s game at Rogers Arena BETTER bring some waffles for when the Leafs get raked.
Honestly; and bring some syrup so Brian Burke can get his fill.
If we are as generous to the Leafs as I am suggesting we be by providing them with delicious freakin’ waffles, the Leafs will be blown away.
Both of the teams involved Saturday have been rumoured to be in the running for Rick Nash of the Columbus Bluejackets. It’s still unknown whether he will actually be traded before the deadline (Feb. 278) or in the off-season.
Here is my suggestion though:
The Bluejackets LOAN out Nash to both the Canucks and Leafs Saturday night. Nash will play 30 minutes for the Leafs and 35 minutes plus the shootout for Vancouver.
This way, all teams get a taste of what they could be dealing with should a trade go down and decisions come February 27th for the Columbus management is just that much easier.
It’s really far-fetched and obviously not even possible but if you thought at any point reading this that I was serious, you should seriously get your sarcasm detector examined.
Let’s be straight about one thing folks; Rick Nash is NOT coming to the Vancouver Canucks. Not now; not ever.
Best Bet to Win: Vancouver Canuckleheads
Puck drop is at FOUR PM on CBC’s HNIC and on TEAM1040 Radio
Follow me on twitter @vancan19 for some great in-game tweets.